Sunday, December 18, 2011

Writers Are Hopeless Masochists

Taking a risk makes you vulnerable and exposed. What makes this strange, is it's self inflicted. You choose to take a risk. But I think risk presents itself as the only real option. The only option with potential for truly gratifying results.
Risk often comes on full boar and full speed. You don't have time to think about it; you just take it. Sometimes you aren't ready, and you get hurt. But sometimes you're strong, and you win.

This is life, though.
Writing is different.

You don't have risks charging from your pen to the paper, or from your fingers to the keyboard as you type. You have to consciously put yourself in your words. Not a part of you that is "meaningful". A part of you which you feel so connected to, when you put in on paper... it feels like you're ripping it from your body and, well, exposing yourself.

Writing is a bit masochistic in this way. It's painful to really put yourself into your writing; a part of you is ripped out, and you are left to bleed. It's scary.
But then someone comes along. They read what you've put out there for them. What will they think? How will they react? Will they see how much you put into it? Will they appreciate it? Will they understand?

The goal of writing is to say something that matters, and to say it in a way that wil make it matter to other people. What good is your piece it if has significance to only you? You were already aware of that significance. It needs to make a statement to others.

And to make that statement, you have to take a risk. You have to express to them what it means to you. And that takes more than words. You have to put meaning into the words.

Here's my opinion: it will never work. You will never get your point across; no one will ever understand what you've written in the way you intended.
It's not futile though. People will take meaning out of your words if you put meaning in them. It won't be exact, and they won't feel them the way you do. But they will take meaning from it; your writing will serve a purpose.

Even if what you've written means one thing to you, your readers will take their own meaning from it. They will interpret your words and apply it to themselves. All the exposure and all the meaning you've put into your work will speak to them. That's the beauty of words. That's the beauty of risk.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hey, kids. Want some kandy?

Oh crap. I need a tampon. Oh crap. Anna's having a conversation with a bunch of people, I can't ask her in front of boys...that's embarrassing.

This happened a lot in middle school.

In seventh grade, my two best friends were Anna and Becca. We had all gotten our periods in like...fifth grade. And we all knew this about each other because we were best friends. It was helpful because I wasn't comfortable telling anyone else that I had my period (because some girls still hadn't gotten theirs yet). Sometimes I forgot to bring "supplies" and would need to mooch of Anna or Becca.

One day, we were poking fun at our friend Walter (whose real name is Kevin, but middle name is Walter and we liked it), and Becca was digging through her pencil pouch and said, "Walter. Do you want some kandy?" Then she pulled out a tampon and threw it at him.

So ever since then, we had always referred to it as kandy. And we came up with "Tootsie Rolls" and "Hershey Bars" to distinguish. Some girls needed pads, you know.

Then, every time I needed some, I was fine shouting down the hallway to Anna's locker, "Do you have any Tootsie Rolls?" and solve my problem without being embarrassed.

Just wait, that's not even the good part, yet.

So one day, Becca and I were sleeping over at Anna's house. I was in her bedroom and she was downstairs making breakfast. I was about to go to the bathroom to get ready, and I needed a tampon. So I yelled down to Anna, "Hey, where's your kandy?" And she replied, "In the bottom drawer!".

So I finished getting dressed, and when I got to the bathroom, Billy (Anna's younger brother) was rummaging around in the bottom drawer.

"What are you doing? You can't go through your sisters personal things!"
"What personal things, I'm looking for candy..."
"Yeah, Billy. Kandy is pretty personal."
"Why would you even want tampons?"
"Tampons? What are tampons?"

Then Becca walked in.

"Tampons are for your period."
"What's a period?"

So we proceeded to explain. We even took one out of the wrapper and put it under the sink to show him how absorbant they are.

Billy was only in fifth grade. And he didn't really understand.

"Wait. So blood comes out of your butt?"

That's when Anna walked in.

"We're telling your brother about periods. Accidentally; he was going through your drawer looking for candy, and I thought he knew about kandy. So I told him he shouldn't go through your personal things...and voila."

Poor poor Billy. He was still confused though, and despite Anna feeling highly uncomfortable with the whole thing, she clarified Billy's questions. And yeah.
That's the story of how I accidentally told Anna's fifth grade brother about periods.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On Insincerity

Everyone around me is sobbing. Their bodies shake, faces buried in their hands or in shoulders as they hug, wailing loudly, inconsolable. This is what I witness. And yes, I am crying too. But I am crying quietly, because I am actually crying. The others are putting on a show.

The context of this situation is this: we are all in eighth grade. We are at a going away party. The party is for three people who are moving in the summer. And we are all their friends. Wait, let me clarify that. About a quarter of us are their friends.

So what are the rest doing? I wonder the same thing.

When each person said they were moving, two things happened:
1. They told their friends, and their friends were shocked. First they react with disbelif, then denial, grief, blankness, and finally accpetance that involves trying-to-make-the-best-of-what-time-we-have-left-together moments.
2. People that had him in a class with me once, or ride the same bus, or there was that one time in class when we talked about how dumb school is, or pass him in the hall sometimes, or his locker was on the same wall as mine, or went to the same elementary school as him...these people hear the news, and they freak the fuck out.
No, I'm not kidding. All of a sudden, they are "such good friends with him" or they "wish we'd gotten to know each other better" or they've "always liked him" or have "just starting to become close". Yeah. It's bullshit.

What's really happening, is these people realize something big is taking place, something difficult and painful, and they want in. They want to feel like they are part of something important, no matter how.

But what's wrong with that; why be critical of it? It's only human nature to want to belong...
Look, don't get me wrong. I'm all for "being human", but if it's going to interefere with the amount or quality of time I have left with one of my best friends, I'm not going to be happy. And I'm not going to like you. As a matter of fact, I'm going to grudgingly, indirectly mention you in a blog post about how annoying and dramatic and insincere you are. So there.

And I think that about captures my disgust with dramatic people: there is a point when drama becomes insincere. That's as good as lying, if you ask me. What they want so desperately is to be in the spotlight, and they overshadow the real situation by creating their own. They impliment themselves into something people are already paying attention to, and they take over; they are leeches.

My actual friends were moving, I was actually sad, and I actually wanted to spend time with them before they moved because I was actually going to miss them and I actually cared. And others were using my actual friends as a mere cast in their own plot to be the center of everything.

I understand that people thrive on attention; I understand that people want to be a part of something. I am tolerant of this. But I will not be accepting when it's not their drama to create, or it's off of other people's situations that they leach.

But, in the words of Bo Burnham, "He's just a little attention attracter. When he grows up to be a comic or actor he'll be rewarded for never maturing, for never understanding or learning that every day can't be about him..." -What's Funny

Yup. Those annoying people who can't get enough, they will never grow out of it. And someday they will be on the big screen, undeservingly making way more money than you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Amidst The Susurrus...

I don't support drugs, but I love this song.

It's actually amazing. I've written this blog post twice already, in attempt to explain why this song is so incredible. The first time: it got personal, and that was awkward. The second time: I tried to go line by line and explain why I love it, but I couldn't do it justice (sort of the way movies are to books).
So welcome to attempt #3. And I've decided to let it speak for itself.

Since it's helpful, here are the lyrics:
Did a line off your chest and it made me feel better
When we were losing physicality and untethering ourselves
The fragile alpine freshness after sickness beckons
Where a song can naturally unfurl
Without the pain of hitting the shelves

Leave a dusty trace of everything you do in your wake
A greying map of your activities and all of your mistakes
Don't leave your troubled friend behind
I'll know what to do when I've learned all my lines

There's a lion in your chest and it makes you feel better
Like you're regaining your virginity by commanding me to heal
Tell me I'm wrong again, tell me it's wrong to skirt around reality,
I'll never learn unless it's more uncomfortable for me not to feel

Leave a dusty trace of everything you do in your wake
A greying map of your activities and all of your mistakes
Don't leave your troubled friend behind
I'll know what to do when I've learned all my lines

Now I'm lying on your chest and it makes me feel better
Now I've lost all my integrity these problems right themselves
And if a frenzy kicks about amidst the susurrus
A lonely editorial can never hurt and only time will tell

Saturday, November 26, 2011

When I Was Your Age...

Process Analysis
1. Childhood is often referred to as "innocent", which is an extent. Children are innocent in the respect that they believe the world belongs to them, and they don't understand the danger in things. Thus with no danger in their worlds, they are always safe and content. Yet it is this mindset that also causes the playful mischief and rebellion. Eventually, they learn. People tell them, "Don't do this; don't do that". Parents scold them for their selfish behavior. They are expected to "know better" than to misbehave; they are taught of the dangers in the world. Children lose their innocence, and they grow up. This is when childhood ends.

2. Why is childhood something so cherished in the eyes of adults? Children don't cherish it. They live it the same way adults live "adulthood". They live in the moment; sometimes they are happy, sometimes they are upset. There's nothing special about it in a child's mind. But it's valued when being looked back upon because now it's lost. The reason childhood exists is because life changes. Once people are taught morals and values, once they have responsibilities and expectations...childhood is gone. And don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?

3. Not everyone has a childhood. Sure, people experience life in early years, but childhood is more than just being young. Childhood is being naive, and ignorant. It's when you think everyone's purpose is to serve your happiness, and it's throwing a physical kicking-and-screaming tantrum when they fail to comply. It's thinking everything is safe, as long as you are with mommy. It's begging Dad to read a story, and another one, and just one more, please!, all to avoid bedtime. It's having endless energy. It's giggling at silly faces and funny dances. Childhood is wanting to be older, so you can be unrestricted. Oh, the irony.

4. What happens when one gives into his desires and passions? When he lets his emotions control him, instead of squelching them? What happens when he does whatever he wants, rather than what others tell him to do? Some say he has sinned because he is impulsive and obscene, he acts upon desire and doesn't mind the consequences. But what if he is only 5 years old? Now we call him adventurous and joyful, and his mindset is viewing the world as safe and wholesome. What is thought to be cute and acceptable when one is a child becomes immoral when he is an adult. Enjoy your childhood, while it's allowed. Your freedom won't last forever.

5. When my friend Sammy and I were young, we always built an elaborate fort in the house that was placed in the most inconvenient location, and we would hide in there all weekend playing with Mr. Bear and Taya (our favorite toys). We laughed at stupid things, and would play pranks on my brother, Erik, and the rest of the family. Sometimes we would go around the kitchen finding strange combinations of food to blend, and dared each other to eat it. But now we are older, and we spend most of our time talking, and sometimes going out to the mall. Childhood is when all the fun happens.

6.  I remember waking up late in the mornings to sun beams coming in from my blinds, and the sound of muffled conversation between my mom and dad in the kitchen downstairs, probably over a cup of coffee. I remember the day Amber and I decided to skip school and walked to the playground instead. I remember sneaking M&Ms from the goodie-jar at daycare with Denise and Lori. I remember the smell of crayons whenever we had coloring-time, and I remember playing outside for recess, and avoiding boys because they had cooties. I miss those days. I wish they weren't over.

"Where'd the days go when all we did was play? And the stress that we were under wasn't stress at all...just a run and a jump into a harmless fall..."-Paolo Nutini, These Streets

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Snowing!

I was really unhappy today, and I don't know why.
Ever get those days, or even just those little blurbs of time, when you are inexplicably angry?

But then it snowed, and that cheered me up.
It's a cliche, but it's so true: snow is fresh.

Every time I see a cool journal on a shelf, I want it. I have probably twenty blank journals, because I buy them but never write in them. I don't buy them with this intention though, I always think I will use them. But I love how clean and open they are: the potential that exists for them. I never do anything with that potential, but I like the idea of it. On the rare occasion that I do start a journal, or even when I write in a notebook for school, I always leave the first page blank. I do this because it's a new book that I can fill with whatever I want, and it's the first page. That's the page that carries the most potential. And I like to keep it that way.

I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind today, and there's a point where Mary talks about how babies' minds are so blank and clean, and adults' have so much clutter. I like the thought of that: having nothing cluttering my mind. There was a time when my mind wasn't filled with so many memories. There was a time when my mind was more or less blank. That sounds so refreshing and calm.

And whenever there is a new snowfall, I like to step around in it, leave my footprints everywhere, make snow angels...but I love the clean patches. They're so pretty, and so tempting to run through.

I like the sentiment of new things; clean things; open things. I like how journals can be filled, and how minds can be filled, but they start out blank. And snow gives that feeling. It covers everything up, as if it can start fresh. Not just for a "second chance", but for many chances.

Once you start writing in a journal, the new-ness is gone. Eventually, your brain is full of memories and thoughts and facts and tasks...
But snow. Snow comes fresh perhaps hourly, or daily, or weekly, or at the very least it comes seasonally. Start over and over and over. And I love it.

And now that it's started snowing, I can wear my snowmen earrings!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


There's something big out there, and it's taking over. It's where ever you look; it's everything you see. Sometimes, it's exactly where you expect it, but sometimes it starts to change you and when you're not even aware of it. It hides by mirroring your surroundings, making you believe it's the truth. It infests the minds of children, teenagers, one can escape it. Even those who try to avoid it are affected by it.

Of course, I refer to: the social media. *dun dun dun*
Oh, it's a monster!

Some people tend to think mass media is bad. I mean, it has to be: something so influential and widespread is bound to realize its capabilities at one point and abuse its power...
But that's not all true.

I think that mass media reflects a society's values, and exaggerates them. And if people aren't careful, they will start to believe the exaggerated versions and those exaggerated values will become reality.

What's portrayed in the media as reality isn't always accurate, because it wouldn't be as entertaining. The media puts things out there that people want to see. In return, the portrayals are more extreme. For example the portrayal that, for teens, everything is about sex and partying: Skins can be an example of this (or any show you may watch, I don't watch very much American TV). Teens may be like this to some extent, but the media portrays it as a norm, and thus it becomes more of a norm.

Another example is models, and what is considered to be the "ideal" look. Sure, people have already forumlated their opinions, but some people devote all their time to fitting that stereotype and exaggerate it. And then it's expected that people start looking that way. Hey, if that Victoria's Secret girl can look like that, why can't my girlfriend? If that guy on the Hollister bag looks like that, why should I settle for a guy with fewer abs than that? And for some people, it gets to their heads; alters their self-images. That can lead to health problems. And it's all because of the media.

Or how some shows (again Skins can be an example, or for those people out there who watch Glee, another example) are brining gay characters in to show their struggles but also the process of accepting them. This is the use of media to show different values and using it for good to give people more understanding and the potential for a more accepting nature. And it seems that there are more people who are openly gay, perhaps by the influence of media.

And of course I have to bring up Doctor Who. Anyone who watches SciFi nerdy stuff like I do will understand that the media is also used to bring up realistic potentials in the world. Or maybe not-so-realistic potentials. But they are always interesting, and it opens up questions to scientists about real life possiblities. Could something like this be done, ever? But they also play with your own beliefs about the world. Do aliens exists, are we alone? Are there parallel universes? Can time and space be bent? Are the laws of physics really "laws"?

The media is also important for information. REAL information. Facts. Such as newscasts or maybe updates about sports teams. It's important for people to keep in touch with reality: what's going on globally or locally, what the financial status of businesses are, what the economy of their country is, what wars are taking place, what natural disasters are predicted or have occured...all of these things matter. All of these things are brough to us through the media.

So yeah, the social media is there for a whole hullabaloo of reasons, and has triple the amount of effects on society. We can uplift and praise it, we can disregard it, we can follow its lead, we can protest against it...
But who are we to criticize it, anyway? We're the ones who created it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How To Be Just Like Me!

First things first. I'm asian. So in order to be like me, you must:
  • Be Chinese. Because all Asians are Chinese.
  • Speak Chinese. You're Asian, aren't you...?
  • Be a bad driver.
  • Be good at math. And every other thing you do.
  • Like Pokemon and everything anime.
  • Be short.
  • Have yellow skin.
  • Only have Asian friends.
  • Make peace signs in every picture.
  • Know Karate (or some variation, but call it Karate).
  • Eat rice with every meal. With chopsticks.
  • Be prude.
  • Like Hello Kitty.
  • Never Sleep.
Also, you should know that I'm a girl. So you also have to:
  • Like the color pink.
  • Watch reality TV.
  • Wear a ton of makeup, and spend at least an hour getting ready in the morning.
  • Take lots of photos of yourself.
  • Go shopping.
  • Giggle.
  • Like to wear dresses.
  • Have inside jokes.
  • Cry often.
  • Keep everything you own in your purse.
  • Have side bangs.
  • Be jealous and judgemental of other girls.
  • Have a boyfriend, but really like another guy. And have your best friend's boyfriend like you. It's complicated.
  • Have your relationship status on Facebook be with another girl.
Have I mentioned that I'm a teenager? So:
  • Never see your parents, always have plans.
  • Text. All the time.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Procrastinate all your work, and then don't sleep at night cause you're trying to finish it. Or just go to sleep and get bad grades. Either one...
  • Have a Twitter.
  • Always update your Twitter with things no one really cares about.
  • Get distracted by Facebook, even though there's nothing new on it.
  • Watch endless YouTube videos.
  • Cause trouble.
  • Be dramatic.
  • Be exclusive.
  • Wear inappropriate clothes.
  • Swear.
  • Have acne. It's the true youthful appearance.
  • Everything is a sexual euphemism.
Oh yeah, and I play rugby. Just:
  • Be a lesbian.
Basically, that's how you be like me. You're welcome.

But honestly. I just wanted to address the stereotypes that can form around any given feature. I think you probably know as well as I do that stereotypes do form from somewhere, and to an extent these things happen. But stereotypes are stereotypes. And they don't apply to everyone.

Okay, so I'm Asian. I happen to be Korean. *gasp* No, not all Asians are Chinese, believe it or not. And no, I don't speak Chinese, or Japanese, or Korean. I speak English and (barely) French. Yes, I happen to be short, and I happen to like Pokemon and Princess Mononoke, and I happen to know Tae Kwon Do. But I have non-Asian friends, I don't like Hello Kitty, I don't eat rice with every meal...
I'm just saying. I may be Asian, but that's not "who I am".

Right, so I'm a girl. I like pink, right? WRONG. Least favorite color. I like shopping, right? WRONG. I hate hate hate hate hate shopping. I take a ton of photos of myself, right? WRONG. I do take a ton of photos, but they are never of me. Sure, sometimes I do things that are "girly". I'm allowed to. But don't jump to conclusions about me because I am a girl.

Yeah, so I'm a teenager. Okay okay okay. I procrastinate, I get distracted by Facebook, I am on YouTube constantly...I get it. Mostly where I get peeved about "teenager stereotypes" is adults in stores or businesses, though. For example, a few years ago, a bunch of Churchies went out to go bowling, and a few of us went to Caribou to get some drinks and blah blah blah we weren't allowed to have them in the bowling alley and basically the manager started calling one of my friends a "smartass little bitch". NOT KIDDING. Those were his actual words. Three times. And she wasn't being disrespectful. We were leaving because he asked us to. And he heard her mumble something back, he even admitted to not actually hearing what she said. He just assumed that it was disrespectful, so he blew up at her. She was saying sorry. That's all. Anyway, don't judge.

Lastly, so I'm a rugby player. I. Am. Not. A. Lesbian.
Sure sure, there's maybe one girl on the team who is. And whatever, she's allowed to be, no one cares, because that's not why she joined rugby. UGGGG. And it's not that I'm bothered because you think I'm a lesbian, I don't have anything against it. I'm bothered that you think I'm a lesbian because I play rugby. This stereotype is so dumb. Stop it. Just stop.

That's all I wanted to say today. I'm sick of judgements based on steretypes. So, sorry if you were really looking forward to learning how to be just like me (which I know you were). I may be a female, Asian, rugby-playing, teenager, but those features do not truly make up who I am.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Writing Process: According to Kira

Writing is quite a process, especially for this essay. Let's see..
So the first thing is to read/annotate the article, and do a CRJ. This is relatively easy, compared to the next part.

The next to organize all of my scribbley notes into organized thoughts and potential paragraphs.
I use pen and paper for this process.

Yeah. Did you know, back in the old days, computers looked this...?
That is correct. Except if you get really Old School, the "print" and "delete" would be on the same side of the utensil, as pens have only a writing side. And that's what I prefer.

Inastead of using the conveniently faster, paperless, won't-get-your-wrist-sore system of a Word Document, I use Pen and Paper to avoid....the dreaded Blinking Cursor!

It's intimidating and demanding. And paper lets me take my time.

So I finally got my thoughts organized, and then I went about writing my essay.
I write in a little corner of my room, behind my door. And I sit there with all my papers spread out around me for reference, and I have my computer on my lap, and I am in my PJs and a blanket (because my room sucks and its temperature reflects the one outside, instead of air-conditioning or the heater working). And then I work. Or more like, write some of my essay then take a Facebook break, write a little more of my essay then check my YouTube subscriptions, then write a little more of my essay and eat a bowl of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, then write a little more of my essay and decide I have a funny story to tell my mom, then write a little more of my essay and...anyway. You get the idea. The same process goes for revision.

And then I bring it to class on Monday. And then I conference with Mrs. Cardona. And then I establish that my organization is shit. And then I try to reorganize it without entirely rewriting it. And then that doesn't work. And then I have to rewrite my entire essay.

Yup. So that's how writing this essay looked.

Writing this blog was different, though. Writing this blog was like this:
1. Friday I went home and took a nap on accident. And then I woke up at 4:30 and realized I had to pack. And then I left at 5:00 to run to Target and pick up junk food to prepare for my weekend.

2. Remembered at 5:30 about the blog post, and that I was going to do it before leaving because chances are, Sunday after the Chruch Retreat I would get home and be exhausted and shower, then sleep, and probably forget all about the blog post...

3. Had a freaking amazing weekend.

4. Sunday, came home at noon. Was gross, and exhausted. Took a shower, took a nap. Dad wakes me up at 3:30. I wake up at 4:15. I start to unpack so I can wash clothes. I remember the blog post.

5. Yes, and then I write the blog post.

I'm sorry this is late. I'm not making excuses (well I am, technically, but I am taking full responsibility, I'm just apologizing).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

When is it gonna SNOW already?

Probably none of you are asking yourselves this.

But I am. I am very anxious for winter to come, because I love winter.
That's right. Re-read it. I. Love. Winter. I don't care what you think, and neither does winter.
You wonder why winter comes back every year despite everyone's passionate hate for it...and why it stays far longer than it's welcome? Well, let me tell you: winter comes and stays for me. We are in love, and there's nothing you can do about it.

But honestly, why do I love winter...
Winter brings with it the cold, the type of cold that makes your rib cage lock up when you walk outside, and makes you hunch over and do an awkward shuffle to your car. The cold that sits on your leather seats so that when your shirt decides to lift up a little bit as you are about to sit down and exposes part of your back, you nearly jump out of your windshield when the two make contact. The cold that the heater in your car doesn't get rid of until you arrive at your destination, upon which you have to open the door, inviting all the cold air in again.

Oh yes, this is the cold that I so love.
I love the way it makes everyone's nose and cheeks pink, and how it brings with it snow. Snow that looks beautiful as it covers the trees, snow that crunches under your boots and seeps in at the tops because you didn't quite tuck your pants into them enough. And I love the way you can try to get every seam to overlap so that no cold or snow can get in, but the second glove always ends up exposing part of your wrist. And how no matter how many layers you use, fingers and toes always end up freezing and you want to stick them in a pot of boiling water when you get inside. And sometimes you do, and then they get all tingly and start to sting.

And winter is when you get to go skiing or snowboarding...or sledding, for the untalented.
With winter also comes Christmas. And who doesn't love a good holiday?

Even with all the anticipation of Christmas, it always manages to sneak up on you. And then there's the frantic running around and cursing at how difficult it is to think of gifts for certain people, and whatever just buy them a gift certificate, but that's not personal enough, so just buy them this random thing and include a gift receipt...

And the charade when you open gifts that you don't really want, and you're like,
"BATH SOAPS! I was just saying I needed some bath soaps! Mom, wasn't I just telling you the other day that I needed bath soaps? How did you know that I needed bath soaps? And they smell so lovely, oh thank you thankyouthankyou, these are so wonderful."

And every Christmas Eve we go to my aunt and uncles house.

Christmas Eve is when Ryan and Kristy get to wear their matching Christmas sweaters! All families have a Ryan and Kristy, right?
Yeah, the sad thing is that they bought all their friend-couples matching Christmas sweaters, too. I think this year, everyone in the family is getting one.

And then Christmas. Christmas morning, once everyone is awake and has had their coffee/tea/hot cocoa, the family goes on a Christmas Walk. When we come home, we're all cold. This is when I put on my Christmas socks!
D'awww. They have little snowmen on them. I love snowmen. My mom bought me little snomen earrings that have bells in them so every time I move my head even slightly, they make little dinggy noises. I'll wear them, sometime. You'll love them.

Anyway, after our walk we make breakfast. And after breakfast we open gifts.

And last year, everyone decided my room would be a good place to hide their gifts (because I actually have two rooms, since my brother left). So everyone's gifts were in my closet. And they were like, "I'll wrap them this weekend" but then the weekend came and went and they didn't wrap them. And then it was the 23rd of December, and everyone's unwrapped gifts were still in my closet. And then everyone left me that day, and they were like, "Hey could you do me a huge favor and wrap all my gifts for me?" and I was like, "I hate you all" but I did it. I. Wrapped. Every. Single. Gift.
Except the ones for me, of course. That would have actually made me cry.

But then you know what happened? My mom and dad told Erik to wrap my gifts. So naturally, this is why my pile of gifts looked like on Christmas morning:
Yup. Erik (bless him) used the same roll of wrapping paper to wrap every. single. one. of my presents.
I love him, but it's a good thing he used my favorite wrapping paper...

So, Christmas. That's another reason to love winter.
And if that hasn't convinced you yet, winter also brings hot cocoa and fire places. And winter hats. We all love winter hats. You know, the ones with a ball on the top and little tassles on the sides?

This is why I so love winter.
So seriously, when is it gonna snow, already?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blogging Is Difficult

Have you noticed the little comic to the right?
Yeah. Well I have plenty of Nothing to say, the problem is it's not the type of Nothing I could blog about.

So I'm just sitting here, waiting for something interesting to come into my head. Just waiting. Kind of like this:

My brain feels more or less like this right now. So I think I'm just going to burble, and let all the contents of my brain clear, so there's maybe room for something interesting to make its way in for my (real) blog post.

This is what's on my mind:

1. I need a computer. Now.

2. I love Sondre Lerche. I just spent $70 on his music. New music is bad for my health: I always end up deciding against sleep and anything productive so I can listen to my new music, instead. 

3. Season 6 finale of Doctor Who. So. Freaking. Amazing. I'm really glad my prediction about River killing Rory was wrong. And obviously I'm glad The Doctor didn't die. Although, if Doctor Who were to end entirely, I would want it to end with the current cast because Matt Smith is epic, and Amy and Rory are adorable (and not desperately in love with The Doctor, and not obnoxious, and they don't keep their mouths open all the time *cough cough* Rose and Martha *cough*).

4. Super excited for Winter. It's my favorite.

5. I should train my ambidexterity. Just for fun.

6. Watchmen is a really good book. Even though it's a graphic novel. I thought I was going to hate it, but I really enjoyed it and I think everyone should read it. 

7. Never judge a book by its movie. (advice from Grouchy Rabbit)

8. If companies are trying to create anti-aging products, try inventing faux-acne. It's the true youthful appearance.

9. Pop-tarts suck. I am always tempted to eat them, and then I do and I feel nauseated and I hate them. And there's some in my closet right now, because they are there for Erik's care-package that we haven't sent yet, and I want one. But I don't.

10. I wish I wasn't so short. I hate being short. GAH.

11. I bought a blonde wig yesterday, and then I realized the hair type was completely wrong. I spent more time trying to style it than I spend on my own hair. Like, times 8.

12. We consider four-leaf clovers to be lucky, but really they are just mutated.

13. I should be doing MoPro right now.

14. Did I mention Doctor Who already? Well, it's awesome.

15. Sam Pepper's Halloween Rap with Chip Daddy was half-way disappointing. What the Hell is Swagger was really funny, so I think trying to do another rap was bound to fail. But Chip is cute. So everything's okay.

16. I love my dogs.

17. I was doing really well, for a while. But then I watched a suspensful movie, and chewed my nails. Gross.

18. I found a blonde hair in the book I got from the library, with so many split ends it looks like a broom.

19. My lips have probably become reliant on chapstick for moisture.

Yeah well there's pleny more Nothing going on inside my head, but I figured I would stop there 1) because otherwise I will go on forever and 2) because I thought it would be annoying if I stopped on 19 instead of 20. Muah-ha-ha.

Hopefully now there will be some room in my brain for interesting things to formulate and the next blog post will be legitimate...

Hence procrastination...

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it."

- John W. Raper

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Asians v Americans

Symptoms: Continuous procrastination, lack of sleep, crappy quality of turned-in assignments, low motivation, poor grades.
Diagnosis: American students are lazy and take education for granted.
Rx: Watch videos about how the Asians are winning.

Yeah. We get it. Foreign nations have better students: they work harder, take studying more seriously, and end up smarter. We should strive to be more like them. Right?

Wrong. But that's the portrayal.

The Chinese and Indian students in Two Million Minutes did a lot more studying and preparation for college, and were generally set in their career choices. The American students were not, and were made to appear nonchalant about education, and only focused on their social lives.

So what's wrong with the American education system?
The students are not putting their best effort forward, there isn't enough motivation. But so what if we don't spend every waking minute on school work? We have social abilities. Life's success isn't solely based on academics and knowledge. There's more to life than with what we are being compared. Sure, we could afford to be more focused students; it would be better if we spent more time studying; it would be nice if we took school more seriously. But we're doing okay. Better, in those regards, than the Chinese students.

So what's wrong with the Chinese education system?
Well, considering there are students who commit suicide for being overworked, or for having too much pressure on them, or for embarrassment of poor's no wonder they are striving to be more like the American system. They lack the creativity and the social benefits that American students have. Sure, a lot of successful and intelligent people come out of it. They have a lot of self discipline and go on to Ivy League schools. But they're missing a lot from their quality of life.

Who's better? The Asians or the Americans?

Well, I'm both. So I win.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My Hypocriticism of Photography

It's a word.
And don't look it up. This relationship will only work if you trust me...

Picture this *pun intended*: You are in a moment, and everything about that moment is brilliant. You absorb from that moment the sights, the smells, the emotions, the interactions, everything. And you love that moment. You want to capture it somehow. So that you will remember. So that you can share it with others. Then you take out your camera, and you snap a picture.

Later, you are telling people about your weekend, or the trip you went on, or the time you spent abroad, or whatever caused that moment. And as you try desperately to capture the experience in words, you realize you've captured that moment on camera. A picture is worth 1000 words, right? So you show them. But when you look at the pictures: there's nothing there.

It's just an image. An image of people, and buildings. An image of you, and the mountains in the background. An image of your friends eating at a restaurant. Just an image. But where did the smells go? The emotions? The interactions? Where is everything else? Where is your moment?

I'll tell you where your moment is: it's gone. You've experienced something, but nothing can capture it. You can get pictures of it; you can talk about it. But in the end, that moment was a moment made only for you, and you have to savor it while it encases you, because it's never coming back.

Photography is a futile and desperate attempt. It doesn't work. But that doesn't stop me from trying. And sometimes, I forget to actually live in moments becuase I am too busy trying to capture them.

I also do (or try to do) artistic photography. You know, not just the taking-pictures-of-random-things-when-something-fun-is-happening. The photography where you find things or people or places, and you stage them. You adjust them, and you manipulate them...and then you change the settings on your camera: the amount of light being let in, the shutter speed, the focus: all of this to capture the essence of something. And I give the same criticisms to this type of photography.

The thing is: I love photography. Whether it's the taking-pictures-of-random-things-when-something-fun-is-happening photography, or the manipulative-artistic photography...I love it. Maybe it doesn't capture a moment accurately, and maybe it doesn't exactly capture the essence of a place, person or thing. But it does conjure up something new: a new moment, if you will. And it's important. Our recollection of history would be entirely different without it. Just keep in mind: those pictures you see of history or of a friend's experience, and the emotions they may aren't getting the full experience.
There's no frame around a moment.

That's my hypocriticism.
Happy shooting.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Personified Fonts

Since we are talking about this in class...

Except someone dumb on YouTube flagged the video I wanted to post (which is legitimately dumb because there's nothing that needs flagging. Honestly). So I will link it from the website instead. There's also this one, but it's less funny.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Obama: Third Annual Back To School Speech *Analyzed*

Am I really going to analyze the President's speech? Only rhetorically...

Okay so it's obviously important to note that his audience is high school students. This changes his tone and syntax: he is a little more casual about his presentation and he uses shoter sentences for emphasis, but also to keep the attention of his young audience.

A few things added to his ethos: the most obvious being he it the President of the U.S. I would say that adds to his character and credibility. But he also tries to make his words relatable: he jokes around a little and adds in lists of different sports, activities, academic hardships, going through changes with friends...he mentions Facebook and Twitter as well. This ties in with the fact that his audience is high schoolers, but it also ties into his ethos: he has been through this before, he can relate to them.

He puts a lot of emphasis on how 'You are the future'. That is a big burden to carry, it takes a lot of responsibility. But he adds in his own personal stories about what type of a student he was, and what he remembered about high school. He wasn't perfect, and he's not expecting his audience to be, but he is letting them know what is important.

He uses a lot of lists to add specific details in many cases. He does this to include everyone and speak to everyone: listing different jobs or different activities so that he includes everyone's interests so he/she can relate.

He gives a few examples of outstanding cases of young people such as Will Kim, Jake Bernstein, and Amy Chyao. This shows that he is aware of individual cases, and that he is invested in them. I think this was an important part because many people might figure since he is the President, he does not have time or interest in young individuals or anything not immediately affecting him. Those examples made him come off as somewhat humble, not above everyone else, and only invested in large scale occurances. It also demonstrated what young people can do, and how they are not only the future, but the now.

Obama is a very steady speaker. He uses hand gestures to emphasize some of his words or things he is saying. He uses some repetition: "What does it look like...", or "You'll be the ones who...". He also repeats the concept of continuing education beyond high school. He plays a little with pathos when he says the U.S. used to have the highest college graduate rate, but is now 16th. This might make students feel guilty, and compelled to not let the President down, and continue with their education to change that statistic.

All of these techniques contrubuted to the speech's effectiveness. I think his ending was motivational and powerful. (Therefore it will be how I end my post). "Your country is depending on you. So set your sights high. Have a great school year. Let's get to work."

Monday, September 26, 2011

While I'm Procrastinating...

I might as well talk about aliens.
Seriously, they have to exist. I mean, we're talking about the entire universe: we can't be alone.

So on that note, the planets of Galifrey and Skarro must exist (or have existed). And clearly, that means Timelords and Daleks exist. And there must have been a Time War between them. And now there is only one Timelord left. And Daleks keep re-appearing despite the genocide of their race.

(There are no logical fallacies above. It's true.)

I bring this up because:
1. I recently watched Alien Autopsy.
2. I recently watched Doctor Who.
3. I really want Doctor Who to be real.
4. I am procrastinating.

Also, I finally changed my blog title. And it is Doctor Who related. Because River Song kept meeting The Doctor at the wrong times, and we didn't know who she was. But it was implied that she's The Doctor's wife. And she killed someone: the best man she ever knew. The Doctor? But it can't be The Doctor, because someone in an astronaut suit kills The Doctor. And River witnessed it. So she probably killed Rory (which we can only now begin to speculate). And someone told The Doctor, "the only water in the forest is the river". But that didn't mean anything. And Amy was pregnant, but she didn't know it because she was Flesh. And the people who stole her and created the Flesh version of her wanted the baby because it was to possess Timelord qualities. Probably because it was conceived in the TARDIS. And The Doctor and Rory go to save Amy and the baby which she names Melody. Melody Pond. Because for some reason Amy keeps her last name instead of taking Rory's when they get married. And then some girl (who has been waiting to meet The Doctor again, so has joined the army against him, but is still nice, and trustable) sews Melody Pond's name into something for good luck. But it's in her native language which originates from Forest People. And "the only water in the forest is the river". And River Song is Melody Pond. And she's a weapon against The Doctor. And oh my God.

This proably won't make sense to anyone, or be read by anyone, for that matter. But I needed to have a little freak-out about Doctor that I stop doing it in every single Freewrite Friday. Okay. C'est fini.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jim Crow Laws

I think they're interesting. Not because I am racist or heartless or believe they should be implimented...but to realize that these laws, which looking back upon are ridiculous, were seemingly just and neccessary at the time.

Okay, so everything is crazy and kind of overkill, but the ones I found the most surprising were the juvinile delinquents/prisons and mental hospital laws. Even if people were bad and did illegal things, or if they had mental illnesses or were insane, they still felt it was necessary to separate them by race.
And they regulated marriages. And went as far as to make sure burials were done by separate people.
Even the militia which is supposed to be a patriotic and unified group was separated by race.

The context of these laws with Letter from Birmingham Jail demonstrate how humiliated and degraded the blacks felts in America. It shows how they were treated. And why they were fighting.

MLK, as well as others, used the word 'disease' to describe segregation. It is actually as if the white people thought the black people were diseases. They didn't want to be near them, or use the same facilities as them, or have the same people sell or operate the things they bought or used.

I actually really enjoyed reading Letter from Birmingham Jail, even with the very tedious CRJ attached to it. It was really powerful, and definitely had an 'FU' tone, in a classy and respectable way.

I also found it interesting to see how some of the laws parallel the issues of some social injustices today (mainly homosexuals in the cases of marriage and child custody and the army) and how perhaps someday people will look back on our laws and shake their heads at us.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In my opinion...

I think, in a sense, these essays are just more forms of "Why I Write". It's various authors describing distinct times in their lives which caused them to become writers.

My favorite one is probably eveyone's favorite one: William Kennedy's. I think everyone who has ever thought of being a writer (which potentially is any kid who has gone through first grade) has had their own 'Eggs'. I had quite an imagination when I was little. (Or young, rather, because I am still little). I used to tell my mom stories, and I would proceed to tell her about them for hours. And at the end, she would say, "Did that really happen?" And I would reply, "Well, no. Actually, I dreamt it." And she would ask, "Did you really dream all that?" And I would say, "Well, no. But wasn't it interesting?" And indeed, they were interesting stories. I had an abundance of ideas in my head, and as I got older I thought it was something I wanted to share with others. I tried writing many stories. They all sucked. But I always had ideas. I think Kennedy's essay is saying you have to take risks. You have to start somewhere, and you always have to be prepared for criticism so you can improve.

My least favorite one was Pat Conroy's. It wasn't my least favorite because it discussed a rather tragic event. It was my least favorite because I don't think it was very well written. It didn't have a huge impact on me, or a moment where I was like, *gasp*. Which I think was her goal. The ending wasn't powerful to me, either. It was anticlimactic, and the last line didn't leave thoughts lingering, or make me feel like she has put her father to justice, or whatever her intentions were with ending it that way. I just didn't think the length of her essay was long enough to get her point across effectively, or to bring out enough emotion. I actually read this one to my mom just to tell her about how poorly written I thought it was. Yup.

Overall, I liked these essays. They were short, but they had a lot of content. And I think it's cool to read about how various authors got their start, and what inspired them to write.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why I Write

I used to write because I liked writing. I always had creative story ideas in my head, and I wanted to write a novel. When I was younger I always thought I would carry some sort of profession which involved writing. I grew out of that, though. My mind lost its creativity and I was never able to carry on a plot.

Now, I only write when it is assigned. I don't do a lot of writing in my free time or anything interesting. I have, on several occasions, tried journaling, but it never goes much past a few unproductive attempts.

So I guess I don't write, really. I write when I am told to write, and I think that makes my writing, often times, less passionate. I try to make my writing good when I do, though. And even when it is an assignment, I find a way to make it something that I want to write about.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I don't blog.
This is awkward.

Sumer is over, that's obvious. I'm trying not to complain about it, though.

Last summer, I started something called a Complain Bracelet. Basically, it takes three weeks of consistently repeating an action for it to become a habit. I tried complaining less. I wore a bracelet as a reminder, the goal being to go 21 consecutive days without complaining. I would wear it on the same wrist every day, and keep track of how many I had successfully made it through. If I caught myself complaining, I would move the Complain Bracelet to the other wrist, and start over my day count.

It took me a long time, and many do-overs, but eventually I made it through 21 consecutive days without complaining.

It did help me improve on complaining less.
Admittedly, its effects have not been permanent.

I guess there are things that you just can't fix. Ughh.